Sports Psychology Expert Says Reaction of Penn State Students Understandable

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (CBS) — Penn State students have been rallying at Joe Paterno’s house and demonstrating on campus in support of him.  And many outside of State College are wondering why.

As the sex abuse scandal continues to dominate the news and rock Penn State, students have been demonstrating in support of fired coach Joe Paterno and protesting on campus.

Dr. Michael Sachs, chairman of the department of kinesiology at Temple University and a sports psychologist, says the fervent loyalty in this case can be explained by location.

“Unfortunately, there’s a disconnect between the real world and the sort of isolated setting that many universities find themselves in, whether it’s the nice country setting like Happy Valley or an urban campus,” he says.

And Sachs says the unwavering allegiance to athletic officials may also be explained by the nature of the allegations: they are so awful and hard to accept that students may need time absorb the details and to process their feelings on a topic that is rarely discussed.

He expects that as time passes and more details emerge, the tide of student support may turn.

Reported by Lynne Adkins, KYW Newsradio 1060


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